In addition to the great friends and collaborators, Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell has had a short history, the end of which took the canadian singer to write “Rainy Night House” a song that was included in the Ladies of the Canyonthe third album of the singer.
The two met at the Newport Folk Festival of 1967, an event after which the artist Alberta would spend a month living with the musician at his home in Laurel Canyon.
This period of coexistence between the two coincided with a time in which few producers of Hollywood, was encouraged by the canadian to put music to The Second Coming of Suzannea dramatic film of 1974, directed by Michael Barry and inspired by the theme of Cohen’s “Suzanne”.
Responsible for the project, Leonard has tried to get the help of Joni to help him with his task, but, unfortunately, for all parties involved and for the fans, the efforts have not produced the expected results.
Reflecting on his career years later, Mitchell has spoken with writer Malka Maron for his book Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words and, touching the matter of his first meeting with Cohen, you said (apart from Out Magazine): “Leonard did it, ‘Suzanne’, met him and said: ‘I love that song. What a great theme’. Really. ‘Suzanne’ was one of the best songs I have heard. I was so proud to know an artist. It made me feel humble because I looked at the track and I said: “Woah. All my seem so naïve in comparison (with him)’. The high standards of what I wanted to write”.
After that your romantic relationship to fail, Joni wrote the wonderful song “rainy Night” as a farewell to his short but sweet link.
The Mitchell has confirmed that the track she was referring to their separation, and quoting part of the letter, said:
“Yes. Once I went to his house and I fell asleep in his old room. He sat and watched me sleep. He sat all night and watched me to see who it might be me in the world”.
The singer continued: “There is a certain poetic freedom with those two lines; it is in fact ‘you’ve been awake all night, and I watched closely to see who there is in the world…’. I gave him the back. Leonard had a lot of pain. Hungry ghosts is what is called in buddhism. I am referring to something much deeper than that. Five steps down”.
It is also said that the timeless, “A Case Of You” was written with Cohen in mind, but this has never been publicly confirmed.
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